Early child care needs to be a public concern, not just of parents, say panelists

The fall in Global Hunger Index ranking was among the topics of discussion in the discussion on Early Childhood in India.

ByBiraj Swain
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Early child care needs to be a public concern, not just of parents, say panelists
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India has fallen to the 100th rank among 119 countries in the Global Hunger Index. While this is not something to crow about, it reflects poorly on India that its neighbours Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have done better. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan lag behind India. This comes about due to widespread undernourishment among children less than five years of age.

The fall in Global Hunger Index ranking and the reduction in infant mortality yet the stagnating and enormous burden in deaths of neo-nates (babies less than 28 days) were among the key topics of discussion in the opening episode of Newslaundry’s series on Early Childhood in India.

Biraj Swain, Consulting Editor, Newslaundry and ICFJ Fellow on Early Childhood Development, interacted with Dr NC Saxena, retired IAS officer and the Supreme Court’s Commissioner on the Right to Food-Nutrition-and-Maternity Entitlements, Dr Neelam Kler, Padma Bhushan awardee and renowned neo-natologist, currently heading the Neo-natology and Paediatrics practice in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Sumitra Mishra, the executive director of Mobile Creches, a leading non-profit dedicated to early childcare for marginalised children in India.

The panelists discuss a working definition of Early Child Care, its determinants and impact and why it needs to be a public concern and not just the concern of parents and line ministries.

The panelists share their ouch and wow moments of journalism when it comes to reporting Early Childcare and their expectations from the media in setting the narrative. They close with some crystal ball gazing on programmes and policies on Early Childcare in India and the potential that Mission Malnutrition Free India 2022 presents for the country and not just the 113 high burden districts.

Here’s the discussion:

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